Leaving at 5am, I arrived dead on seven. There were murmurings that the bird had already been sighted. There were already around c300 twitchers on site.
Moments later, a group of seven Barn Swallow flew over. Mass panic. A bird, shorter tailed hung back from the group then disappeared.
Then the show began. The American Cliff Swallow appeared, joining rank with it's European cousins. Perching on top of a hawthorn for long periods appeared incongruous. It was hard to imagine there was any food here for them.
What appeared to be a juvenile, the short tail, dusty rump and nape, and a distinctive pale face mask made this bird really rather attractive. Then I left the assembled crowd.
Spending time strolling round the reserve was inevitable. Needless to say... [it's a fabulous reserve].
The East Scrape held five Bewick Swan, a species I very rarely see these days. A Purple Sandpiper picked off bugs along the outflow opposite the south sluice. A late Spotted Redshank fed on the adjacent south scrape.
Two Bittern were seen, one flying daringly close past the Island Mere Hide.
It was a relaxing time, sat in the Wildlife Lookout hide watching the wildfowl. Two Kingfisher, line astern, zoomed by. Two Swallow flew through accompanied by the Cliff Swallow. A really surreal moment, having this yank vagrant pretty much to myself.